New Augusta County road paves way for development possibilities
Augusta County’s newest road improvement project, Route 636, also known as Lifecore Drive, is now visible. The thoroughfare, including a bridge over the CSX railroad tracks, will connect Route 250 near the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center and the Wilson Memorial Complex to Tinkling Springs Road (Route 608). The new road extension will also provide additional access to Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences and Augusta Health.
The road project began in January 2013, but with Branch Highway’s recent excavation work near Route 250, passersby will clearly notice Lifecore Drive taking shape. What was a grassy bank will soon be a major intersection. “The 636 project is approximately 50% complete and will be open for traffic by early 2015,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Larry Wills.
“We’re changing the landscape in Fishersville,” said Jeff Moore, who represents the Wayne Magisterial District and this portion of Fishersville. “This road project will not only provide another needed connection to our community’s hospital but will pave the way for future development,” Moore added.
The road construction activity will enhance future growth in the Myers Corner development, a 139-acre mixed-use real estate development. A ten thousand-square foot building is under construction and will be the new home for the Fishersville Family Pharmacy and other businesses this spring. Myers Corner is already home to two significant health care-related buildings with the offices of Brumbaugh Pediatric Dentistry and Parrott Orthodontics open for business. Over its ten-year, phased development, Myers Corner will have a diverse mixture of uses, including businesses, apartments, townhouses, duplexes, and single-family homes, with a significant amount of the site devoted to open space
“Myers Corner will be a pedestrian- and bike-friendly community with sidewalks and trails linking these new neighborhoods and open space to the connector roads and the businesses in the area,” said Scott Williams, Manager with Crescent Development. “We can already see the positive impact the new road construction is having on both of our projects at either end of Lifecore Drive (Rt. 636),” Williams said. Holtzman Oil Corporation is planning to build a convenience store/gas station, possibly a 7-Eleven, on the corner lots in Myers Corner, and Denico Development Co. is planning to build a 204-unit, upscale apartment project adjacent to the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences campus.
The Route 636 road project combined with the Exit 91 project, Murphy Deming, and Augusta Health’s new Heart Center, continues to build on the Board’s vision for Fishersville as a growth area for medical and health target sectors. “One of Augusta County’s advantages as a business location is its diverse economy,” said Amanda Glover, Director of Economic Development. That variety ranges from the life sciences in Fishersville and food processing in stuarts draft to the airport in Weyers Cave and agriculture in much of the western and southern portions of the County.